In Honor of World Poetry Day: vernal equinox

In honor of World Poetry Day and the celebration of Spring, I wanted to share this poem I wrote a couple of years ago. Collecting dust in an old blog and journal, I felt it would be better-served if I posted it here.

vernal equinox

spring out of
winter, let the
sun’s warmth fill
your soul up
with the dawn
of this brand
new day. it
makes your heart
rejoice, clearing out
the thoughts that
have been collecting
dust in the attic
of your mind.
letting the bitterness
of this dreary
season wash away,
just as the
blanket of snow
disappears, leaves the
bare earth exposed,
anxious for the
daffodils to bloom.
thoughts are pushed
out – bullied so
far back that
they instantly become
a distant memory.
empty, bottomless thoughts
have gone away.
you find the
dark winter vanished,
with a fresh
season in bloom.
not looking back
provides every reason
to move forward
as the seasons
begin to change.

Did you pen anything for World Poetry Day? Share it by putting it or a link to it in the comments section. And get prepared, because National Poetry Month begins in just over a week. Happy writing!

Monday Inspiration: Prompts to Get Your Pen Moving

Happy Monday! Oh, who are we kidding? Monday is probably our least favorite day of the week. To combat the Monday blues, let’s do some writing to start the week off right! Here’s my latest round of writing prompts, gathered from the web and the back of my brain. Give these below a shot if you need some inspiration!

Write about something you know really well from the perspective of someone experiencing it for the first time. (Source)
You stumble upon an abandoned house in the country, far from anywhere. You wander inside to take a look around. What’s left? Offer speculation about why some of these items are left behind.

Gender switch: think of a favorite story. Retell it with the main character being a different gender. (Source)

Remember, just pick one at random and write for 15-30 minutes. Let your pen (or keyboard) take over; get the work of your great imagination on the page! Don’t forget, if you have any to share, email them over or drop them in the comments. Happy writing!

A Review of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

About a month ago, a dear friend of mine asked if I’d be interested in writing a quick review of a book I recently read. I jumped at the chance because when I first read Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan, I couldn’t put it down. Her story not only was so interesting, it was scary to think that someone could go through what she experienced.

Without further ado – my review as featured on Traditional Femme:


A Review of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

brain on fireOn a rainy summer Saturday afternoon, I was cruising the shelves at our local bookstore and stumbled upon Susannah Cahalan’s memoir, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness. I admit I was drawn to it by the haunting image of the author and the book’s title on the front cover, but once I read the summary on the back, I was sold. I took it home and I couldn’t put it down.

Cahalan is a young, twenty-something woman with a bright career ahead of her as a journalist with one of New York’s most famous publications. She has a wonderful boyfriend, with whom she recently entered a serious relationship. She’s healthy and ready to take on the world. Life is great. Not much later, she wakes up in a hospital unsure why she is strapped down with wires hooked to her body that are traced back to monitors and machines.

While the precise point of when her illness began is hard to pin down, she realized in the time leading up to her diagnosis some of her symptoms: migraines, light/color sensitivity, difficulty controlling emotion, seizures, numbness in her left hand, hallucinations, and intense paranoia.

With her paranoia, it started with a bug bite that prompted her to fumigate her apartment to rid it of the bed bugs she thought she saw. She suddenly had the urge to read through her boyfriend’s emails – something she never would normally do. She started to feel like she was slipping into a deep darkness. (more…)

Brainstorming First Lines – More Writing Prompts

Happy Saturday, fellow writers! If you’re sitting around with writer’s block  and need something to get your pen moving, I have just the thing: Brainstorming First Lines.

I have a confession: I struggle with first lines. When I sit down to write a fiction piece, I usually just dive right into the story and go back later to finesse the beginning – just like what I do when writing nonfiction. I want to draw the reader in without being cliché… but for me, sometimes that’s easier said than done. (Ha! See what I did there?)

Earlier today I started out with something that described the weather. How boring. I mean, really? I couldn’t continue, so I deleted the draft and started wracking my brain. When my writer’s block kicked in, I took to the internet. (I love the Internet. Seriously. It has literally everything.) I went through a few random generators on some random websites found via Google Search to help get some words, phrases, and lines to help me generate a story. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, I thought.

I jotted down a handful of lines I found that I felt had some promise. That’s when I figured I should share with my writing friends. Anything to help the creative process!

Here are some of the best lines I found that make me want to stop everything and write something down:

1. She knelt on the carpet of her new living room, a big cardboard box in front of her, unwrapping ornaments.

2. He was stunned. The stranger in front of him looked exactly like the girl he’d been dreaming about.

3. As he took in the view from the twentieth floor, the lights went out all over the city.

4. It was up to her to investigate how the accident had really happened.

5. The attack was over in seconds.

6. He watched, helpless, as the door closed behind her.

7. She felt for the lock in the dark.

8. More and more people were refusing to obey the laws of the land.

9. Under normal circumstances he would speak his mind, but, with a gun against his head…

10. He had waited twenty years to return it.

If any of these intrigue you, start writing and see where it takes you. If you want to see more variety or find something different, just do what I did – hit up Google and search for random writing generators to get some more ideas and prompts. Maybe you’ll find something for your next brilliant masterpiece. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway. Have a lovely Saturday and happy writing!

More Writing Prompts to Get Your Mind Moving and Your Ink Flowing!

By this point, there is no introduction needed. It’s time for another round of writing prompts!

The first one I often use because I’m such a vivid dreamer. I wake up able to recall the smallest details of a dream, so I’ve taken to jotting down or taking account of the crazy dreams that fill my head when I’m sleeping.

The second, well, is because I’m obsessed with the thought of a zombie apocalypse. I’m such a fan of old to new school zombie movies and (of course) The Walking Dead. Even with its depressing undertone, I find it a fascinating topic. Obviously I’m not the only one considering books, movies, and televisions shows continue to be published focusing on this specific post-apocalyptic genre.

The third, I found browsing Tumblr a long time ago and thought it would be interesting to read a story from that perspective.

Without further ado…

Write about the dream(s) you had last night.
The Zombie Apocalypse has begun. How and when did it start, and where are you in the mess that is life after modern technology?
Explain and describe a football game from the perspective of a helmet. (Source)

Remember, just pick one at random and write for 15-30 minutes. Let your pen (or keyboard) take over; get the work of your great imagination on the page! Add your own to the comments or email them to me to feature in future posts!

Acrostic Poetry – The Temple Tree

I love rediscovering the various forms of poetry. Acrostic poetry is one of my favorite forms. Acrostic is defined as “a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet” (via Merriam-Webster).

Basically, the beginning letter of each line must then spell out a word when you put them all together. Clever, eh? I was inspired to create my own acrostic piece, which I have shared after the jump.

Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass is a well-known story that ends with an acrostic poem that shares the name of Carroll’s muse, Alice, who inspired what is more famously named Alice in Wonderland). Here’s his acrostic, titled “A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky.”

A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July –

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear –

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream –
Lingering in the golden gleam –
Life, what is it but a dream?

——

Alright! Without further ado, here’s my hand at acrostic poetry.

The Temple Tree

Falling for the scents of summer, we are lured back to the Temple Tree. We are
relishing each passing second, lazily lying with our backs against the trunk

as we realize the sun has already rolled past ten… eleven… and suddenly
noon is hours behind us. The sun begins her descent, sinking low and slow, low and slow.

Gone soon will be her enchanting rays; her transition to twilight
is inevitable. The day will end, but we will not.

Plumeria accents the summer breeze as you tuck the flower behind my right lobe,
all while the luminous rays begin to bleed into the horizon.

Night has crept in; the starlit canopy and sounds of a summer night lull us
into a sweet slumber, tangled beneath our Temple Tree.

——–

Feedback is always welcome – did you make the connection? Feel free to compose one of your own and share it in the comments!

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